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The weekend read: European solar comes of PPAge

From scorching Seville to rainy Rostock, investors claim that power purchase agreements (PPAs) have made European solar farms bankable without government subsidies. By providing lower risk for cheaper capital, they are powering a renaissance in established PV markets and lowering the cost of solar electricity in Europe.

The what and when of P2G

Often touted as the missing link in the energy transition, power-to-gas (P2G) has not yet had its time to shine. While the technology has been around for decades, large-scale projects have been exceptionally rare. Over the last year, however, encouraging signals are emerging as research, pilot projects, and small-scale applications appear to have picked up pace. As debate continues about the tipping point for P2G in terms of conversion efficiency and costs, some market players are optimistic about near-term prospects.

The Netherlands: PV’s Iron Throne

While relatively small compared to its more populous neighbors, the Netherlands has a history of punching above its weight. This is certainly true of its solar market in 2019, writes Rolf Heynen from Dutch New Energy Research. And for companies awake to the nuances of its policy settings and market opportunities, The Netherlands could prove a jewel in the European solar crown.

Solar ready to take more risks in Brazil’s upcoming auction

According to Brazilian solar energy association ABSOLAR, PV project developers will be awarded “quantity contracts” in the auction to be held on June 27. The association, however, warns that changes in contract structures require adequate adaptation and correct implementation to achieve success.

Solar once again the only winner in German renewables auctions

In the first round of this year’s mixed wind and solar tender there were only bids for PV projects. Some 18 projects with a combined capacity of 210 MW were selected and the final feed-in premium tariffs were almost the same as those seen in the previous round, with the average price slightly higher.

Global renewables R&D will further drive down energy transition cost

The Netherlands’ Organisation for Applied Scientific Research says renewables would not only contribute to a cheaper energy system but would also create more opportunities for new business, exports and jobs – as well as a cleaner environment.

Australians across all parties support EV policy and expect to buy electric cars

Coming hot on the heels of major reports and a heated public debate about electric vehicles, a poll commissioned by the Climate Council has confirmed Australians believe electric cars are the future. Another poll, by The Australia Institute, has 50% of Australian voters supporting all car sales being electric by 2025.

Agro PV raised efficiency of land by shielding crops from harsh sunlight

Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems has demonstrated combining solar generation with agricultural activity is now not only viable at lower costs, but may be particularly suitable for arid regions.

UK researchers warn of potentially rising silver costs

A study has highlighted that the two growth phases of solar panel manufacturing – after the 2008 global downturn and again after 2011 – coincided with higher prices for the precious metal.

“There is no such thing as a zero or near-zero-emission nuclear power plant”

Stanford professor Mark Z Jacobson has said new nuclear plants may cost up to 7.4 times more than wind and solar facilities, with construction times longer by up to 15 years. Such a delay, he said, may see an huge amount of extra carbon emissions from fossil fuel power sources. His verdict comes as China this month set new guaranteed tariffs for nuclear power.

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